Jerry Sandusky Camp's 'Hygiene' Defense Is Most Ridiculous Yet

showerIt seems the Jerry Sandusky camp is getting even more desperate in its bid to fight off sex abuse allegations. The latest move by Sandusky's growing defense team is to say the kids allegedly molested by the one-time Penn State coach were just dirty birds who needed lessons in hygiene. So gosh darnit, what was a guy to do but strip down and jump in the showers with a bunch of children? Well, we could think of quite a few other options ...

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See, Karl Rominger is one of the newest members of the Sandusky defense team, but he's apparently taken to heart fellow attorney Joe Amendola's "let's beat up on the victims mentality." He tried to back up the hygiene claims by blaming the kids for needing Sandusky to get nekkid:

Teaching a person to shower at the age of 12 or 14 sounds strange to some people, but people who work with troubled youth will tell you there are a lot of juvenile delinquents and people who are dependent who have to be taught basic life skills like how to put soap on their body.

You know what? It does sound strange to me. Not the idea that some 12-year-old boys would be stinky -- that actually sounds right on, and not just for "troubled youth," but kids in general. The tween years are tough because their bodies are changing, and suddenly having to use deodorant is as uncomfortable for boys as having to wear a bra is for girls. And some kids just happen to go through a stinky phase.

The idea that a grown man would jump in the shower with children who bears no biological relation to them at all, however, does sound strange. Because most parents don't jump in the showers with their kids at this age!

We do talk to our kids about body odor. We do discuss societal norms and bullying. Heck, we sometimes just straight up say, "Hey, buddy, you stink, get your butt in the shower."

Sandusky could have easily done any of the above. He could have pulled an especially malodorous kid aside -- fully clothed -- and said, "Listen, kid, working out on the field will really get you sweaty, and I can smell that." A good coach can talk to kids about tough problems in an honest and kind manner.

And if that didn't work, frankly, he could have spoken with the parents of the children involved. Part of coaching, especially when you're working with troubled youth, is to work in concert with the parents of your charges. That means pulling a mom or dad aside and saying, "Hey, I'm seeing this problem, now lets work to fix it!"

But he didn't do any of those things, did he?

In fact, grand jury testimony -- which comes under oath -- includes a police-recorded phone conversation between Sandusky and the mom of a then 11-year-old boy who was shocked that the coach had showered with her son, soaped him up, and bear-hugged him from behind. According to that report, Sandusky admitted he was wrong to have done so, going so far as saying he wished he "were dead."

So which is it, folks? Was Jerry Sandusky helping kids when he got naked and climbed in the shower with them, or was he helping himself to a heaping helping of their childhoods? Are you buying it?


Image via GlenBledsoe/Flickr

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